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WPBHS coach digs Volleyball

October 12, 2018

WPBHS coach digs Volleyball

By simply reading his license plate cover, which says “I Dig Volleyball,” anyone can tell that Conley Straight, WPBHS head volleyball coach and science teacher, has a passion for volleyball.

However, his love for volleyball goes much deeper than coaching high school volleyball; he also officiates and line judges and coaches club volleyball.

                Straight began officiating and line judging in 2014 when he was nearing the end of his college coaching career at Doane University. Because he wanted to stay involved with the game, he decided to get his officiating license.

                Starting out mainly line judging at the college level and officiating at the high school level, Straight progressed to officiating more at the college level. Now, he does a combination of line judging and officiating.

                The GPAC Conference, which includes schools like Midland, Doane, and Concordia, is one of the conferences for which Straight officiates and line judges. He also officiates and line judges for high school matches. In bigger conferences like the Big 10, the Summit League, the Big East, and the Missouri Valley, which are all division one, Straight primarily line judges.

                Working the NCAA postseason tournament and obtaining his Junior National Referee Certification for club officiating are two goals that Straight has in regards to his officiating career.

                According to Straight, some of his favorite things about officiating and line judging are “getting to see the game from a different aspect, interacting with the coaches and players, building relationships with other line judges and officials, and meeting people from all over the United States.”

                One of Straight’s favorite memories is when he line judged the Nebraska-Iowa game on October 3. He enjoyed receiving texts messages, snapchats, and posts on social media from people at home.

                Aside from officiating and line judging, Straight shows his passion for volleyball by coaching the Nebraska Elite Volleyball club out of Omaha. He began coaching for the club in 2011 while he was still an assistant coach at Doane.

One of the club directors reached out to Straight while he was recruiting for Doane and told him they were looking for a coach to help with their program in Lincoln. Straight decided that coaching would be a good way to help with the recruitment process for Doane, and it was also a way to stay involved with volleyball during the offseason.

The Nebraska Elite Volleyball club holds tryouts the Sunday immediately after the high school season ends. The selected teams are split into two divisions: a regional division and a national division. The national division consists of those players who want to play at the collegiate level and are seeking athletic scholarships.

The club starts practices in December, and depending on what post-season events the teams attend, some end their season at the end of June, and those who make nationals end in July.

Straight’s favorite part of coaching the Nebraska Elite Volleyball club is having the opportunity to coach girls from different high schools and building relationships with them. Straight said, “The girls all have different personalities and what they’re good at.”

Straight’s favorite memory from coaching was when his team was competing in a national qualifier tournament. They were down 2-11 in the third set, and they came back to win 15-13. By winning this game, they moved up to the gold bracket in the tournament.

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